TR: Little Yosemite Christmas - 12/25/16

Discussion about winter adventure sports in the Sierra Nevada mountains including but not limited to; winter backpacking and camping, mountaineering, downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, etc.
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cefire
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TR: Little Yosemite Christmas - 12/25/16

Post by cefire » Sat Jan 07, 2017 4:44 pm

Wife and I had a few days off and no christmas plans so we packed up our gear and headed to YNP. Didn't have any plans in mind since we weren't certain about the snow conditions. So we woke up early and got to the valley visitor center by opening...

Ended up choosing an easy trip to Little Yosemite Valley as we hadn't been out in the snow in a while. We had plans to hike up to the Diving Board but my wife had a cold and woke up not feeling too well - so we only spent 1 night camping, but it was a beautiful trip despite the brevity.

We estimated that the temp probably got down to 15F that night. We were both fine temperature-wise (me doublebagged in two old sleeping bags and her with a newer bag and a liner) but ended up with chilly feet by the morning. Down booties from Feathered Friends are currently en route for a late present from "Santa" \:D/

Looking forward to getting out soon with a bit more daylight!
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Re: Little Yosemite Christmas - 12/25/16

Post by balzaccom » Sat Jan 07, 2017 10:32 pm

Nice ! Looks like a wonderful trip...
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Re: Little Yosemite Christmas - 12/25/16

Post by KevinDo » Sun Jan 08, 2017 1:12 am

Great photos! Vernal looks gorgeous!! Thanks for sharing

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Re: Little Yosemite Christmas - 12/25/16

Post by maverick » Sun Jan 08, 2017 12:42 pm

That looks like a fun trip, was there anyone else at LVL? Any shots of the campsite and the Merced?
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Re: Little Yosemite Christmas - 12/25/16

Post by cefire » Sun Jan 08, 2017 5:39 pm

Could tell that others had camped there the night before, but we were on our own that night.

I'm kicking myself because I only took "snapchats" of the campsite to send to my family. No recoverable pictures :/ We tried out my new TT Cloudburst 3 with an added reflective liner. Not a single drop of condensation got through the liner! I'm super impressed with this tent

The Merced was still largely open and flowing - saw a dipper and a whole lotta tracks. We also found a dead squirrel that had melted a small cutout in the snow (must have fallen there while still alive??).

The most interesting wildlife sighting for the trip was a giant bobcat as we entered the Happy Isles parking area. By far the largest and healthiest bobcat I've seen - walked about 15 feet in front of two others who didn't notice because they were looking at cell phone screens, hehe.

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Re: Little Yosemite Christmas - 12/25/16

Post by brandy » Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:22 pm

What a beautiful trip! Thank you for sharing the pictures. :)

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Re: Little Yosemite Christmas - 12/25/16

Post by maverick » Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:14 pm

Could tell that others had camped there the night before, but we were on our own that night.

I'm kicking myself because I only took "snapchats" of the campsite to send to my family. No recoverable pictures :/ We tried out my new TT Cloudburst 3 with an added reflective liner. Not a single drop of condensation got through the liner! I'm super impressed with this tent

The Merced was still largely open and flowing - saw a dipper and a whole lotta tracks. We also found a dead squirrel that had melted a small cutout in the snow (must have fallen there while still alive??).

The most interesting wildlife sighting for the trip was a giant bobcat as we entered the Happy Isles parking area. By far the largest and healthiest bobcat I've seen - walked about 15 feet in front of two others who didn't notice because they were looking at cell phone screens, hehe.
Thanks for the reply. :thumbsup:
See any bear tracks in LYV?
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I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org

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Re: Little Yosemite Christmas - 12/25/16

Post by giantbrookie » Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:08 pm

Nice trip and photos. I'm wondering if there are any of those scary ice-on-trail-with-big-drop off places I remember vividly from a December trip back in what I recall was the late 1960s or perhaps earliest 1970s. There wasn't much snow on the ground when we went. There was this spot just short of Nevada Falls that I'll never forget, though. There was no railing, stonewall, or such along the trail's edge at this point and there was a very large (ie fatal) drop off below the trail which was covered with black ice there. I took one look at the place and told my dad I didn't want any part of it. My dad picked up some sand and gravel, sprinkled it over the ice and walked across. Eventually I was coaxed across. That was my only winter trip to Yosemite and I've never forgotten it because of that one icy patch.
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Re: Little Yosemite Christmas - 12/25/16

Post by cefire » Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:11 pm

No bear tracks that we saw.

re:exposure - there are definitely places along the mist trail especially that one wouldn't want to fall. I'd be probability as to whether a fall would be fatal, but we did not encounter anything of the sort you describe giantbrookie. The official "route" to ascend is to switch from JMT to Mist trail above Vernal and then rejoin JMT above Nevada. The closed sections (lower Mist and upper JMT) might be what you are thinking of??

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Re: TR: Little Yosemite Christmas - 12/25/16

Post by deadeyes » Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:54 pm

The closed sections (lower Mist and upper JMT) might be what you are thinking of??

Yeah...a little before the route up from the JMT to the flats east of Glacier Point Road is a "weeping wall" that always provides a scary and dangerous 50 feet or so. I crossed it a few years ago (also around xmas) and there were a couple of real dicey moves. I think I would opt for Mist trail next time. The gate was closed...I went that way anyhow.
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